2 Years ago today…

Owing to ‘technical difficulties’ (ie trying to navigate the wordpress blog system and also being away for a few days this past week … I have been remiss in writing.
Today however, is the 2nd anniversary of the day I found out my blood had tested positive for Coeliac Disease and I feel I need to mark this significant turning point in my life. What a journey it is proving to be….a rather inconvenient one initially, since at the time, I was spending much of my time in a hospital with my daughter, in another city – one which I was pretty unfamiliar with and in which I now had to try and start living gluten free in. However… it was also THE day I started to realise that the person I was and most of the physical aspects that (largely) contributed to who I was (AND to my personality) were in many respects attributable to this DIS-EASE which I now heard might be inhabiting my body! Things could only get better for me – and I didn’t need drugs for that to happen. I could control it with DIET. EASY!!!

But… (isn’t there always a BUT?!) trying to find my way around supermarkets I was not used to, and reading labels in the dazed state I was in, proved rather overwhelming at first. I admit that I kind of ended up going on a minimal range diet, because I couldn’t cope with the enormous impact of it all, at the same time as trying to be there for my daughter, in all that she was facing. I remember walking round the supermarket/s thinking, ‘where do I start?’ There seemed to be no gluten free sections as such – I knew there was one in my local supermarket (to add further frustration to the exercise!) but nowhere could I find, in this, supposedly more sophisticated city (at least in the areas where I was able to roam) supermarkets catering (I mean as in supplying a special section) for this new people ‘type’ I now found my self categorised as. I vividly remember going down the biscuit aisle, trying not to look at what I now couldn’t have – and seeing mallowpuffs! Mallowpuffs!!! One of my all time favourites – now forbidden food! I had to avert my eyes, keep calm – and carry on!

From being a Weet Bix kid and adult most of my life, I now had to find gluten free cereal. Not fun seeking those out…and not many to choose from. Or that I liked. OR that weren’t at least twice the price!
I discovered corn cakes and they became my bread. I was used to having Vogels bread, toasted (most often with marmite) for my lunch, pretty much on a daily basis. Now it was corn cakes with marmite! And yes… I found out much later on that Marmite was also a forbidden food! Dinner was less of a hassle. But being in another city and not able to shop often because of the situation I was in, meant that I truly did just exist on basic foods. And…. Buzz Bars! And Peppy Chews. My sweet treats. I was so pleased to find out that they were gluten free – and that the hospital convenience store stocked them.
I intend to have a section where I list the GF foods I have found….please bear with me as I navigate the site and get my blog looking how I want it to look.

Being told in May that I might be Coeliac was actually quite good though. One of the lovely nurses in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit told me about the gluten free food and allergy show on at the showgrounds. see http://www.glutenallergy.co.nz
It happened to coincide with the beekeeper’s visit to Auckland and he relieved me at the hospital so I could go. It cost about $10 to get in then, but I more than got that back with all the lovely free samples I had, and was also able to come away with. I would like to go again one day, now that I am more gluten free savvy. Things would look entirely different to me, I do believe. (I remember buying up boxes of cereal that were on special…if all else failed I would have that to fall back on!)

I spoke to someone from Coeliac New Zealand there, and learned about joining the society. More on that later. But I do recommend it.
My time was limited and because I was actually also not feeling the best (but now knew why!) I didn’t really do the show justice. So yes, I must return one day.

A lovely friend came to visit in those early days also, and brought with her some lovely GF treats.

Anyway, today’s my 2 year anniversary! Of the day I started to rebuild my body!
And tomorrow is another anniversary, my 21 year old daughter’s ‘2nd’ birthday, marking the date of her Bone Marrow Transplant….also Mother’s Day – the best one ever for me! So for now, I bid you adieu.
Keep watching and reading!
AND… Happy Mother’s Day, to those mothers who do such a great job bringing up the next generation!


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